How To Find A Date For Formal When You Know Literally No Boys

A psychic on the Jersey Shore once told me that I was a "guy's girl" and I don't know that I've ever heard anything so inaccurate. Excluding relatives, I know about two, maybe three men? Which made things a little tricky when I got to college, joined a sorority, and was wondering how to find a date for formal.

Let's journey back.

A few weeks before my first formal, I'd confessed to a group of my new sorority sisters that I literally knew no boys at my university (or, well, in the universe). One girl — who, if I remember correctly, was the sweetheart of two separate fraternities — started scrolling through her Facebook friends, offering to hook me up with this soccer player, that frat boy, this engineering student, and so on. I decided I liked the looks of a blond fellow on the swim team, and she quickly arranged for us to meet over Chipotle and plot out a formal date plan.

The Chipotle meeting was fine, I guess (I was the epitome of awkward, but TBH, when am I not?). We made plans to meet at another sister's apartment for a pre-game before formal that weekend.

Then, about six hours before I was expected to roll up to the pre-game, I had a full-blown panic attack — one that was largely triggered by my sudden realization that I was about to go to a social event (terrifying) with a near-stranger (doubly terrifying). I was simultaneously hyperventilating and sobbing in my sister's car when she suggested I tell my friends and Stranger Swimmer Date that I had an emergency and and couldn't make it to the event, which is exactly what I did. And so, I spent the night of my first formal bundled up on her couch — drinking chamomile tea and fielding texts from worried friends — feeling a mix of guilt and relief over bailing at the last minute.

But now I'm older! Wiser! Less likely to panic at the idea of spending time with a man (sometimes, at least)! And if you're on the hunt for a formal date this semester but know zero men, I've got your back. Here are 10 ways to find and land an awesome date for your spring formal — no hyperventilating required.

Note: A few of these require a little advanced planning, so best to get started now, ladies!

1. Take a page from my playbook and scroll through your friends' Facebook friends (but only, like, if you're not terrified of strangers?).

2. Have a friend set you up on a blind date! If you two aren't a great match, at least you'll be surrounded by friends. And if you hit it off, fab!

3. Forget dates and bring a platonic pal along, instead. Friends make the best dates, after all (#GirlPower).

4. Go to every social event between now and your formal, and challenge yourself to talk to every single cute, friendly, funny person you encounter.

5. Scour dating apps for the perfect date. If you're feeling wild, throw a line like "Now accepting applications for my spring formal date. Serious inquiries only" in your bio, and see what people have to say! And remember: The more apps you join, the larger the pool of potential formal dates.

6. Join an intramural sports team — you're guaranteed to meet a few hot athletes, and even if you don't click with any romantically, you can bring one along as a friend!

7. Ask your friends if their siblings, cousins, or young hot dads (any relatives, really!) are going to be in town, and ask them to set you up.

8. On the flip side, ask your male relatives if they've got any friends who live in your town or city and ask them to set you up.

9. Chat up your classmates and see if any of them might be viable candidates for your formal date.

10. Take your pet, like this kid who took his cat to prom.

And if all else fails, you just take your fabulous self, honey!

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